Arriving in Chengdu,I had to collect my baggage pass through immigration and re-check in. Chengdu is famous as the home of the Pandas and there was a small display for arriving passengers to look at.
I passed trough immigration without any hassle and made my way to the check-in area. When I booked this flight, the booked had said that this leg would be an economy flight. So I made my way to the economy desk. After a few minutes off checking my details the lady said that I was in the wrong queue - I should be over there in the first class section. First class I thought, how exciting!
As I had around 6 hours to waste, I wondered outside the terminal into the freedom of China! There looked to be lots of building work going on in front of the terminal.
No much else to see, so I went back inside, passed through the security and went in search of the 1st class lounge. I saw my KLM 747 through the windows.
To the lounge I went. It was very small, a bit like a hut inside the terminal. There was a thrilling politicaldebate going on on the TV. I helped myself to a drink and sat down to check out the great firewall of China.
The internet connection was ok and I managed to get onto flight-report to write up the first leg of the trip.
The 6 hours passed slowly. About an hour before my flight the staff came tome and asked if I would like anything to eat. After a bit of umming and ahhing they managed to think of some food that didn't contain any meat. After quite a while they came back with my meal (I have no idea where it came from, there didn't seem to be a kitchen in sight. I was presented with some noodles under which was a very thick black sauce. I think I had this a few years ago in a random chinese restaurant in the UK (if anybody knows what the dish is called I'd love to know). It was really good and as I had said I liked spicy they brought out a chilli based sauce/oil. Sichuan is well known in China as having spicy food - right up my alley.
It was then time to board.
I passed by the economy passengers into the priority lane and walked onto the aircraft taking my seat 2F. Here's the cabin. I ctually classed this flight as a business class flight. There are only two classes on the aircraft economy and first and it would be unusual to have first without a business class especially for internal flights. (please correct me if you think I should change this to first class).
The seat layout was a proper 2+2 layout, none of this just blocking of the middle seat. It was also quite comfortable and wide. I was provided with a welcome drink of orange juice. In the seat pocket were the usual magazines and safety card.
I was also offered some slippers.
The attendant asked what I would like to eat. There seemed to be no vegetarian option here. She said she could offer me something that the economy passengers were having. After take off, I was served some nuts.
Then it was time for the main meal.
The vegetarian choice didn't seem to have have made it. There was what looked like some great food containing, beef, pork and fish. I obliviously didn't have this. Then some chicken arrived instead. I didn't want that either. But I managed to get some cake to go with the fruit from the real meal. I felt bad for wasting so much food, there was really quite a lot of it and in fairness it did look really good. The whole China experience has been difficult for me regarding food, it just isn't in their culture, meat is seen as being prestigious. What I do find strange is that there should be a tradition of non-meat food from the peasants and from Buddhist culture. It just hasn't translated into restaurants. Anyway I digress.
We landed in Nanjing early. I collected my baggage and was picked up from the airport by taxi.
Air China Lounge
Chengdu - CTU
Nanjing - NKG
This flight is called a first class service (which seems to be common in China), but I have classed it as business as there isn't an actual business class.
The lounge was quite basic but I was personally offered a warm meal (there may have been a menu but it everything was in chinese).
The food on-board looked really good, but unfortunately I wasn't able to eat it as no vegetarian option was available. Luckily Ihad just eaten anyway. The staff were friendly but didn't speak great English and still gave me a meal I didn't want. There was no individual entertainment, only screens from the ceiling.
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